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How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?

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Derek Chan
How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 3:28:19 pm

Dear all,

I realize it is time to upgrade my computer since it took around 15 hours to render a 2 minute AE template from videohives.

This is my computer spec:

Gateway DX4831

PROCESSOR: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz

RAM: 8.00GB

GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 (the graphic card it came with was really bad so I upgraded it to this one)

HARDDRIVE: 1TB

My question is, what will be the most cost efficient way for my to upgrade my computer?

I'm not an expert on computer spec details so I'm wondering what I need to upgrade.

What processor should I get? What RAM should I get?

Or should I buy a new computer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!


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Walter Soyka
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 3:48:30 pm

[Derek Chan] "I realize it is time to upgrade my computer since it took around 15 hours to render a 2 minute AE template from videohives."

If you have multiprocessing enabled, turn it off. You don't have enough RAM to effectively use multiprocessing.


[Derek Chan] "My question is, what will be the most cost efficient way for my to upgrade my computer"

If you are able to upgrade the RAM on your system, that's the first (and cheapest) thing you can do.

After that, buy a solid state drive (SSD) to use as the Ae cache disk.




[Derek Chan] "I'm not an expert on computer spec details so I'm wondering what I need to upgrade. What processor should I get? What RAM should I get? Or should I buy a new computer?"

Ae works best with a balanced system: as you get faster processors, you need more RAM and faster disks. Unless you have a specific bottleneck (as I suspect you do with RAM), upgrading a single component will not help much.

If you're serious about Ae, you could easily spend many thousands of dollars on a 16-core beast with 64 GB, SSDs, nice GPU, and a RAID.

What's your budget?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Derek Chan
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 4:21:18 pm

Thanks for replying! My budget will be around $2000. What would you recommend me to do if I want to speed up my AE overall?


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Walter Soyka
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 4:56:15 pm

[Derek Chan] "Thanks for replying! My budget will be around $2000. What would you recommend me to do if I want to speed up my AE overall?"

You're welcome.

I'd shop around for a new computer. Try to get the highest-spec third-generation Intel i7 CPU you can afford, and aim for at least 4 GB of RAM per core. A quad-core i7 could easily benefit from 16 GB of RAM or more (should be doable on a $2k budget); a six-core i7 should probably start around 24 GB (might be pushing it).

Use one hard drive for applications, a second hard drive for media, and an SSD for Ae's cache.

Get the cheapest GPU you can find in your new system and then replace it with your current GTX560 if you want to use Ae CS6's new ray-tracing renderer.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Derek Chan
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:35:19 pm

Thanks for the indepth answer. I found a not so costly computer on futureshop that's i7 quad core.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-essentio-3rd-gen-intel-cor...

By the way, can I upgrade my ram to 32gb or 64gb with a quad core? Thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 7:56:36 pm

[Derek Chan] "Thanks for the indepth answer. I found a not so costly computer on futureshop that's i7 quad core."

You're welcome.

The power supply on that look a bit lacking -- it's only 300W and the GTX560 you mentioned wants at least a 500W or 550W power supply.

I'd suggest you also look into the lower-end workstations from companies like HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc., in addition to the higher-end consumer desktops. Workstation will have higher-end components, they'll offer better service, and they'll come loaded with a lot less shovelware (pre-loaded applications that you don't need that will slow your computer down).

There are also a lot of independent vendors around the COW here like ADK and Puget Systems. Everyone has their favorite!


[Derek Chan] "By the way, can I upgrade my ram to 32gb or 64gb with a quad core? Thanks!"

The i7-3770 processor [link] (found in that computer) is limited to 32 GB of RAM. The motherboard itself may impose additional limits; I don't know for sure because the website doesn't say.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 21, 2012 at 9:41:07 am

[Walter Soyka] "I'd suggest you also look into the lower-end workstations from companies like HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc., in addition to the higher-end consumer desktops. Workstation will have higher-end components, they'll offer better service, and they'll come loaded with a lot less shovelware (pre-loaded applications that you don't need that will slow your computer down)."

Second Walter on this; here is the thread on a decent HP Z420 config although it's above your budget.

In addition to others' suggestions, I'd also look at the bottlenecks on your system with your workflow: what's slow? How's the memory and CPU usage? Possibly upgrading memory and/or adding a small SSD for AE global cache (like Walter already suggested) will speed up things considerably. If there is nothing specific that seems to be the bottleneck - then indeed, shop for a new computer.

Alex Gerulaitis
Systems Engineer
DV411 - Los Angeles, CA


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Anderson Moore
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Jul 31, 2016 at 6:15:06 pm

Please does this mean that I cannot use dell studio 1558 core i7 with after effects cc?


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chris brett
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:43:48 pm

Hi Derek

--- also would recommend you look ahead slightly and ask yourself which format you are likely to be editing with and which version of AE you would like to be using.

I have been researching this for a few months now with a computer geek mate of mine but it is a bit early to pass on any definitive results as I dont get delivery for a few weeks yet and havent 'road-tested' it directly myself....



However theres a few things as below worth considering...


1 ) The motherboard -- some will support an upgraded system and some will not or it will be limited.

2 ) If you want to be editing HD it needs a lot more welly - so even if you are not planning that just now but want to in future it might be wise to look carefully at the motherboard -- ( same with # 3 ) .

3 ) 3D and ray-tracing using CS6 needs a lot more welly also - if you are planning to use this suggest again that you look very closely at the motherboard capabilities re. upgrading.

4 ) Might be worth looking at over-clocking a good pro-sumer CPU for cost reasons.



If you are still looking at this in a months time / new year I can probably be a lot more helpful then .


Might publish results also.



------- all the best ----- chris --


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Derek Chan
Re: How Should I upgrade my computer Spec for AE?
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:40:03 pm

Thanks. I'm currently using CS6 and the work I will be working will not be HD. My knowledge for computer specs is not that great so thanks for the clear answer.


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